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Bestselling Authors: Q and A with Indie Author Patricia Rasey (romantic suspense and paranormal romance)

Author Patricia A. Rasey
Author Patricia A. Rasey

Patricia Rasey is our guest today. She’s an independently published author who has hit the amazon bestseller list numerous times. Patricia writes romantic suspense and dark paranormal romance.

Patricia is a three-time recipient of the Word Weaving Award for Literary Excellence and a three-time winner of the prestigious RIO Award Of Excellence. She is also a three-time EPPIE finalist and was a 2001 nominee for Romantic Times Magazine’s Best Electronic Book. Additionally, Twilight Obsessions and Twilight Visions, two anthologies she was a part of, was nominated for the PEARL, the Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature, in the Best Anthology category. Her short story, In The Mind of Darkness won the P&E 2002 Horror short story category.

When not behind her computer, you can find Patricia working, reading, watching movies or MMA. She also enjoys spending her free time at the river camping with her husband and two sons. Ms. Rasey is currently a third degree Black Belt in American Freestyle Karate. A daydreamer at heart, Patricia A. Rasey, resides in her native town in Northwest Ohio with her husband, Mark, and her lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Todd.  

You’re an indie author also known as a “self-published” author. Tell us how you got started down the indie road and why?

PAR: A very good friend of mine talked me into it. I had two books I had the rights back to and I hadn’t done anything with them. They sat there collecting dust. This author friend of mine bought me a cover and 5 day ad to promote it for Christmas one year. All I had to do was take a leap of faith. Four years later, I’m still self-publishing and making more money than I was with my previous publisher.

51dS6rHwvAL._SX166_SY265_51hqg7xtcUL._SX166_SY265_513KwnPJGfL._SX166_SY265_You’re a bestselling author on Amazon – which of your books hit the Amazon bestseller list, how high did they go, and how many copies did you sell? And best of all – how did you celebrate?

PAR: My first bestseller was Viper, the first book in my Sons of Sangue series. It stayed in the top ten Hot New Releases for two weeks. Its highest rank was #3 there. It stayed in Paranormal Romance releases top one-hundred for the first month. I believe the highest rank there was #11. Hawk (book 2) and Gypsy (book 3) made both those lists again, as well as the demons category. But I don’t recall their numbers. Neither got as high as Viper did, but the money brought on that first month was still pretty great for me. I don’t recall the number of books at all, without having to look it up, but quite a bit fewer than if I hit those numbers with all books. To celebrate, I did so quietly with my hubby and a couple of friends over wine. I’m not much of a big party type gal.

c1e4e5_1f4cc78466384b939d851dc2cf5a26d5.jpg_srz_515_773_85_22_0.50_1.20_0c1e4e5_201427837e66d8037fcf46043add0045.jpg_srz_p_199_316_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Your main genre is suspense – which includes romantic suspense, suspense thrillers and you also write dark paranormal romance. Tell us why you like to write in these areas? And how would you describe your voice?

PAR: I pretty much write paranormal romance now because it is what’s selling for me, paranormal with dark suspense undertones. I really have always been fascinated with police work. I have a brother who is a detective and a son that’s a deputy sheriff. I guess it runs in the family. When I was doing strictly romantic suspense, I used to ask myself what scares me, then write it. I was giving myself nightmares. Now that I don’t write as dark, the nightmares have stopped. I have just always been fascinated with the darker side of the human character. As for my voice, hmmm . . . that’s a tough one. I never really think about it. I just write and I know when I’m in that zone because it feels right.

415DzaZE-zL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Let’s say I’m new to Patricia A. Rasey – I’ve just discovered you either through facebook or amazon or through a friend. What kind of story am I going to be getting in a Patricia A. Rasey book?

PAR: I have always said I hate describing my work. The one question I fear is: tell me about your book. I want to turn it over and say read the blurb. I just suck at talking about them. You will definitely get a book that’s a bit darker in nature. There won’t be a lot of comedy elements (unless you pick up my ghost novella. Spirit Me Away was my one attempt and it was a lot of fun to write). You will also get more than a romance. I try to weave a suspense into everything I write. A lot of readers say I’m full of twists and turns and you don’t always see things coming.

What are three pros to being an indie author?

PAR: Having the independence to decide things like cover, editor. Getting the money monthly and like clockwork. Most of these vendors pay promptly. And having complete control of your career.

Author Patricia A. Rasey is building her own successful publishing career.
Author Patricia A. Rasey is building her own successful publishing career.

What are three cons to being an indie author?

PAR: The money you have to front in order to publish a book. It can be expensive. Being in charge of all your marketing and still sometimes the negative backlash for not having a publisher. And having complete control over your career. If you fail, it’s your fault.

Promotion is key to every author. But you can’t always predict how well a promotion is going to work out. Tell us about one promotion that you did – for a new release or at a conference that really surprised you.

PAR: I’ve done a lot of promotions. Facebook works the best for me. Next step will hopefully be BookBub if I can snag one of their ads. I would say so far, it was getting one of those 6 foot tall banners and having it placed in a well-seen spot. My book sales at that conference were great.

Being an indie author may not be for everyone – although there are plenty of authors who are doing it and plenty of traditionally published authors who are incorporating it into their careers as well. But what does it take to be a truly committed and successful self-published author?

c1e4e5_edf94ad1148f4e8fa5f93657ef458c3f.jpg_srz_p_174_265_75_22_0.50_1.20_0PAR: Dedication and time. If you don’t do the legwork, no one will do it for you. You have to work your ass off in this business to get ahead. No one said self-publishing was easy. And it’s not. Just know if you go that route, it’s hard work and you may not always make your money back. But the bright side, they are on sale forever—so market the backlist to get them selling. That’s my next step.

Building a readership or audience is important for any author – but indie authors don’t have publishers to help them shoulder some of the promotional challenges. As an indie author – how do you connect with readers?

PAR: Engage, engage, engage. Always take time out on social medias to talk to your readers and always respond to their emails. If they reach out, reach back. It’s rewarding both ways.

11986993_973569266038734_6747607187371324996_n
Tell us about your latest release. And what do you have coming down the road?

PAR: Gypsy (book 3) was my last release. If I didn’t have a day job, they would come faster. He was my challenge as he was very much a party boy stuck with a mate he did not want. Let’s say he was one angry vampire who became an ass. Rogue (book 4) comes out Feb. 2, 2016, with two novellas planned next year following its release. Draven (book 4.25) and Preacher (book 4:75). Normally authors do a 4.5 for their novellas. It just so happened that I planned two before book 5 comes out: Xander.

c1e4e5_e7e480d6d33c6ac716b83db2d9efebd0.jpg_srz_p_188_290_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Your heroes tend to be hot and hunky and decidedly Alpha. Where do you get your inspiration for your sexy leading men?

PAR: I love strong alphas, guys who need a little taming. I would say I’ve always been attracted to them, even well before my writing career. I had a lot of male friends who rode motorcycles. My mom and dad’s best friends owned the Harley Davidson shop in our town. Now, I still love the hot, sexy manly type over the traditionally handsome men.

BONUS QUESTION: When you’re really stressed out – how do you blow off steam?

PAR: I read with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer. Reading is still my favorite way to slip away from reality for a bit.

Thanks Patricia for joining us today.

Thank you for interviewing me. I appreciate you taking the time.

 

 

Patricia Rasey loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her via her website, on facebook, twitter, amazon, and goodreads.

You can watch Patricia’s book trailers on YouTube. 

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Bestselling Indie Authors: Q and A with Kathryn Le Veque (historical romance author)

Author Kathryn Le Veque
Author Kathryn Le Veque

KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY’s HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD’Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also a quadruple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2015. Kathryn has accomplished a great deal in her amazing career – and she’s done it all as an independent author.

How many of your books have been bestsellers and what lists have you hit? Tell us how you felt when you hit those lists.

51eINN3qkcL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_KLV: Currently, I have 73 published novels, collections, and bundles. Out of that group, 62 have hit #1 on Amazon for any length of time in Medieval Historical Romance, Scottish Historical Romance, or Ancient Historical Romance. This means they were there for one day or, in the case of my novel NETHERWORLD, held #1 for six weeks in July and August of 2014. Most recently, I was part of the USA Today bestselling collection WITH DREAMS ONLY OF YOU that hit the USA Today bestselling list in July 2015. As for the Amazon Author’s Ranking, I have consistently been in the top 10 authors in Historical Romance since February 2014 and in 2015, I have been fortunate enough to remain in the top 5. As of today, I’ve been #1 for three days, so I’m extremely grateful for my readers and their love of my books.

It’s interesting to ask how an author feels about hitting a list – it’s a milestone to achieve for an author so it feels as if you have really accomplished something but to me, there was more to it – it meant that the readers were loving it and that, to me, is the most important thing of all. As an author, the only thing that should matter are your readers and how they receive what you write. It’s always a great feeling when they love it.

USA Today bestselling anthology WITH DREAMS ONLY OF YOU featuring Kathryn Le Veque
USA Today bestselling anthology WITH DREAMS ONLY OF YOU featuring Kathryn Le Veque

When something awesome happens in your career how do you celebrate – with food, fun, or flowers? (details please! 😉

KLV: I write another book. LOL! Seriously, I don’t really celebrate. No flowers or anything like that. I look at every achievement as a bestseller a motivation to do the same thing again and again – celebrations are short lived. It’s the product you produce that matters and that’s what I focus on – a consistently quality product at a reasonable price.

Tell us why you write historical romance specifically Medieval. And you also write contemporary adventure? Tell us about that.

51fVkSaCj8L._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_KLV: Early in my career, I was big on writing contemporary adventure. Clive Cussler is one of my favorite authors and I really wanted to write what he wrote, so a lot of my earlier works are modern adventures. I wrote an entire series about a female Navy S.E.A.L. back in the ’80s before it became popular to write Military Romance. It was written long-hand on spiral notebooks, which I just recently had my assistant type up, so we may see them published yet. But in the early ’90s, I read a book called THE FALCON AND THE FLOWER by Virginia Henley, and that changed the course of my life. After reading that book, I felt such a connection with Medieval England that I began to read everything I could on it. Then, I started writing in the genre. I don’t consider myself an ‘expert’ on Medieval England, but simply a student of the era. It’s difficult to explain my love for the period but I think the best way to explain it is to say that I’m fascinated with the post-conquest era because it’s a period in Man’s history where he was just coming out of the darkness and trying to find his way into the light. So much growth as civilization became more refined. The period was raw and rugged and brutal, so it’s a testament of Mankind’s strength. It was either do or die. And I find that inspiring.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 8.06.02 AMPromotion is an important part of every author’s work routine. What do authors need to do – hands down – to promote their books?

KLV: An understanding of the market. You can’t just write a book and ‘hope’ people buy it. Understand your market. Understand your genre. Reach out to people (like me) who have learned something about it. Most people in this business are extremely helpful and willing to impart their knowledge on a newbie. Start with websites like Kindle Nation Daily to advertise and reach out to other authors to see where they’ve advertised. It’s all about advertising AND word of mouth in this business. Also, there are several books out from Indie published writers on how they do things – single out some top sellers and see if they’ve written a book about it. But most of all – and this is key – understand how to WRITE. Learn how to craft a book and understand the English language. You can be the best promoter in the world but if you produce a mediocre product, you won’t get very far with readers.

51BxN3YofVL._SX356_BO1,204,203,200_You’re an indie author – independently published author. How did that come about?

KLV: It’s come about from twenty-five years of rejections. I wasn’t going to let that stop me. It’s taken a long time, but the market and technology was at the right place and right time for me to go Indie. I have a very specific style of writing (romance with heavy male POV) that traditional publishers don’t necessarily embrace, so honestly, the only way for me to publish is to go Indie and I’ve been fortunate enough to be very successful at it, which tells me that traditional publishers don’t always know what readers like. I’m a perfect example of that. Had I not Indie published, and had I listened to the traditional publishers, I would not be where I am today. Therefore, even if you’ve been rejected by publishers, don’t let it stop you. It didn’t stop me!

You’re a prolific author. You’ve published more than 50 books since 2012, and 37 of them have hit #1 in the Medieval Romance Category on amazon. That’s a big WOW! How does your typical day work?

515+K7LSlaL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_-1KLV: Here’s actually the breakdown on what I’ve published to date because I need to update my numbers – 57 published novels (individual) and 16 collections (either bundles of my own novels or bundles with other authors). I will publish my 58th novel (SWORDS AND SHIELDS) on November 6. My day usually starts about 7 am where I go through emails and conduct other business for a couple of hours before jumping into writing. I usually do between 3k to 8k a day (depending on how strongly the muse is singing), and I don’t stop until about 7 or 8 at night. That’s when I’m on a deadline. When I’m in between books (I usually take about a week off in between), then it’s revising covers, working with my editor, doing administrative stuff, and things like that. I have two assistants and one editor who work for me but there still aren’t enough hours in the day! Ah, to clone myself!

What are some pros and cons to being an indie author?

KLV: The only con I see is the lack of a big publishing marketing and PR machine behind you. That means it’s up to the author to really get out there and sell themselves, which can be extremely time consuming. Hiring marketing and PR companies can be extremely expensive. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to even start (refer back to the answer on the promotion question). Other than that, being an Indie author, if you manage your business correctly and smartly, is the best job in the world because the control is yours, the creativity is yours, and the revenue is yours.

Not every book can be a bestseller. Heck, some only sell a handful of copies – tell us about one book (or author) that you’ve read recently that is a true gem waiting to be discovered.

TT-button31-1KLV: I have so many authors friends whom I’d like to see just explode because they’re so darn good at what they do – Suzan Tisdale, Eliza Knight, Christi Caldwell, Meara Platt, Scarlet Cole, Violetta Rand, Barbara Devlin, Victoria Zak, Christina McKnight, Amanda Mariel, Hildie McQueen, Christy English . . . I could go on and on. But one author in particular comes to mind – author Victoria Vane writes westerns but her heart is in historicals. For some reason, they really haven’t gotten off the ground for her but she is a phenomenal historical writer. Her historical novels are well worth the read.

What is the coolest/nicest thing someone in this industry has done for you or said to you?

Free on kindle and audibles
Free on kindle and audibles

KLV: It’s so hard to pick one particular incident and I’ll tell you why – this business is full of generous authors who are more than willing to help you. I have had countless kindnesses given to me by fellow authors that are too numerous to name. I wouldn’t even want to try because my heart is so full of gratitude for these people who have done it selflessly and without the need for recognition. If I could single one person out, however, it would be NYT and USA Today bestselling author Tanya Anne Crosby, who has been my mentor through this process. Her wisdom and generosity is unparalleled.

And my readers – oh my gosh! – I have been blessed with some of the greatest readers ever. Their enthusiasm and support are what keep me going. I tell them this all of the time – without them, there would be no me, so I am deeply grateful for each and every one of them. But I will single out one lady who is just enamored with my novels, so much so that she knitted a knight’s helm and visor and sent it to me. She really did. I made my son model it and it was amazing. I treasure it. Or the couple that always drive to my book signings – they’re just wonderful.

Tell us about your latest release. And what do you have coming down the road?

51WbhbpYrSL._SX358_BO1,204,203,200_KLV: My next release is called SWORDS AND SHIELDS, available now on pre order at Amazon (Release date Nov. 6, 2015). It’s a novel about a reluctant bride and reluctant groom who end up not being able to live without each other and face some pretty serious tribulations during Edward I’s wars in Scotland. After that, I have one more release for 2015, DARK DESTROYER (Release date Dec. 24, 2015)  about a legendary warrior and rake who meets his match in love. and then I’m into 2016 where I already have 9 novels scheduled. I am scheduled out until 2020, which is normal for me. I have so many books to write – because that’s just the way my brain works – that I have to plan out at least four or five years in advance. In that sense, I’m very organized. With so much material, I have to be. My website contains lots of information about this at www.kathrynleveque.com.

If you could meet a hero and heroine from one of your books – who would they be and why?

51BwKOxnKwL._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_KLV: What’s weird (or maybe not so weird) is that I already ‘know’ these people. I have created them, every single one of the, so I know everything about them. I can have conversations with them because I know exactly what they would say. But if I could meet one, it would be Matthew Wellesbourne from THE WHITE LORD OF WELLESBOURNE. He’s my favorite – a man of uncommon compassion and humor. What’s not to love?

BONUS: Tell us about one of your “guilty pleasures” that is just for you to indulge in.

KLV: I am a massage girl! I would get five hour massages if I could, every single day!

Thank you so much for having me!

Kathryn Le Veque loves to hear from you. You can connect with her via her website, on facebook, twitter, and amazon.

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